The Airstream Chronicles: A Shiny New Front Panel

FrontPanel1So here we are folks with your latest installment of the Airstream Chronicles. This last weekend found me staring at the ugly front end of our 1969 Ambassador thinking, “That front dent has got to go.” This dent was the size of a small moon crater.

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Several weeks ago I chatted with the local airplane repair guys at Black Hills Aero. They were nice enough to order some fancy aircraft aluminum to replace the front panel of our Ambassador. They even cut it to the proper size, saving me a a lot of headaches.

I went to work drilling out the rivets. Talk about a pain in the butt. I got the old panel removed and then it was time to rebuild the 2 braces that sit under the window. They had been wiped out when the previous owners hit whatever they did to cause this damage in the first place. I had to keep reminding myself that this will soon all be gone and it will look good. After fixing and repairing the braces I re-bent the steel backer for the taillight hook-up and ground the steel down and sealed it with a fresh coat of rust-proof primer and paint.

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With this complete it was time to install the new front panel and take out a few dents in the corners. After the fresh new front panel was installed it was time to put two small aircraft patches on the front where the original skin had been damaged. We’ve talked about this before but here is that nostalgia thing again. I wanted to fully replace the panels that where cracked and torn from what ever the accident was but I succumbed to that old adage of why replace when you can reuse. So with the FAA’s Aircraft Metal Structural Repair manual in hand I went to work making two lap patches for each side to take care of the tears and cracks.

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So there we go…a new front shiny front and one step closer to getting this trailer ready for the road.

Finding Coffee Beans in Fort Collins

Coffee2Lately Jake’s and my coffee addiction has gone into overdrive. It’s probably safe to blame that on a small human but it doesn’t hurt that we REALLY. LOVE. COFFEE. One of the benefits of our recent trip to Fort Collins was the opportunity to bring home some new beans.

Coffee1Thanks to the help of the Twitterverse we were able to locate two local coffee roasters, Crankenstein and and The Bean Cycle. Ahhh, black gold! I can’t say if one is better then the other since they are such different beans but I can say that both are worth snagging a bag of beans or a cup of joe from either of these roasters if you happen to be in the vicinity. Although this souvenir won’t last long around our house it’s nice to have some tasty new fuel to feed the addiction!

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A Weekend in Fort Collins

FortCollins8FortCollins1This past weekend, Jake, the Peanut and I hit the road and headed to Fort Collins, Colorado for a little fun and family time. Fort Collins is someplace we love to visit and lucky for us, it happens to be the half-way point between the Black Hills, where my parents and my family call home, where my brother and his family live.

FortCollins9FortCollins2 FortCollins3One of the reasons Fort Collins is so awesome is because it offers such a wide variety of activities in such a close space. You can go from shopping on Antique Row to fly fishing on the Poudre to a major sporting event all in one day. This trip wasn’t about any of those, although we did a few of those. This trip was all about family time.

FortCollins7FortCollins4The weekend was spent hanging out, enjoying each others company and loving on the babies. One of the days we spent a a few hours wandering around Old Town, the historic district that is filled with lots of quaint local shops. Every time we explore the district we find details that are fascinating. It was even more fun to share this with family.

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FortCollins6Although it was a short weekend, and somewhat sleepless thanks to two tiny ones!, it was so much fun. I can’t wait to get to come back again and spend more time, finding more details and sharing those with family.